Following are a few poems to help still the mind when sitting to meditate.
Everyone you see, you say to them,
Of course you do not do this out loud;
Someone would call the cops.
Still though, think about this,
This great pull in us
Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,
With that sweet moon language,
What every other eye in this world
Is dying to Hear.
I Am Not I
I am not I.
I am this one
Walking beside me whom I do not see,
Whom at times I manage to visit,
And at other times I forget.
The one who remains silent when I talk,
The one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
The one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
The one who will remain standing when I die.
By: Juana Ramon Jimenez
The Ink Dark Moon
Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house
By: Izumi Shikibu
The hippo floats in swamp serene,
some emerged, but most unseen.
Seeing all and only blinking,
Who knows what this beast is thinking.
Gliding, and of judgment clear,
Letting go and being here.
Seeing all, both guilt and glory,
Only noting. But that’s MY story.
I sit here hippo-like and breathe,
While inside I storm and seethe.
Would that I were half equanimous
As that placid hippopotamus.
By Steven Hickman
Lingering in Happiness
After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground
where it will disappear – but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;
and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.
By: Mary Oliver
The Well of Grief
Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief
turning downward through its black water to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink, the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.
By: David Whyte